Video Game Review

Video Game Review: 'Asura's Rage'

A cast-down demigod returns for vengeance in ‘Asura’s Wrath’

March 15, 2012 


    Published by Capcom for the Xbox 360 and PS3


    Rated T for Teen (blood, language, partial nudity, suggestive themes, use of alcohol, violence)

As one of the Eight Guardian Generals of Gaia, Asura was a mighty warrior charged with fighting the grotesque creatures known as Gohma until he was betrayed by his seven comrades, framed for the murder of their emperor and cast down into Naraka, a limbo-like underworld.

Now, 12,000 years later, Asura is free and out for revenge against his former comrades, now calling themselves the Seven Deities, who also killed his wife and imprisoned his daughter so they could draw on her power.

True to the title, Asura’s wrath is great indeed. It’s practically his only character trait, in fact. Growling almost every line through clenched teeth and screaming the rest, the game’s hero is similar to “God of War’s” perpetually angry Kratos, but a shade or two less articulate. He’s very good at punching things, though, and the angrier he gets the more arms he sprouts.

His fighting style includes a variety of punches, energy blasts and shockwaves that send opponents flying across the screen. After he’s defeated enough foes or done enough damage to a larger enemy, Asura can activate a “Burst” attack that moves the action forward.

Sometimes he’ll fly through a stage, locking onto enemies and firing energy blasts. And there are frequent “quick-time events,” where the player must press the right button or direction to avoid a hazard or strike a foe.

“Asura’s Rage” consists of a series of battles interspersed with lengthy dialogue sequences and a ton of eye candy, but ultimately not that much actual game to play. There’s no exploration, no powers to choose from, just a long string of conflicts presented like episodes from an anime series, complete with previews of what’s to come next. It’s less a game than it is an interactive virtual ride.

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